Article Details

Article Details

Languages: The State of the Nation

Author: Teresa Tinsley
Publisher: British Academy
Date of Publication: 2013

Key messages:

The British Academy commissioned a review of empirical data from England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales seeking baseline data on the current demand and supply of language skills in the UK. Key findings from the report include: 

  • There is strong evidence that the UK is suffering from a growing deficit in foreign language skills at a time when globally, the demand for language skills is expanding
  • The range and nature of languages being taught is insufficient to meet current and future demand 
  • Language skills are needed at all levels in the workforce, and not simply by an internationally-mobile elite 
  • A weak supply of language skills is pushing down demand and creating a vicious circle of monolingualism 
  • Languages spoken by British school children, in addition to English, represent a valuable future source of supply – if these skills can be developed appropriately.


University of Strathclyde Education Scotland British Council Scotland The Scottish Government
SCILT - Scotlands National centre for Languages